Michael Gerstein

Michael Gerstein

Michael Gerstein is a former Advance reporter covering the Governor's office, criminal justice and the environment.

Whitmer wants 58% federal funding hike for Great Lakes

By: - June 24, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday sent a letter to federal lawmakers urging them to increase an annual fund for combating Great Lakes environmental problems to $475 million. Whitmer asked U.S. Reps. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) and other members of a federal subcommittee that deals with water and environmental issues to increase funding for […]

MSU hires outside firm for new Nassar investigation

By: - June 24, 2019

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees announced last week that it’s hired a private firm to investigate how the university handled the sexual assault complaints against former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. The board unanimously voted on Friday to hire the Chicago-based firm McDermott Will & Emery for the task. Nassar is now serving what […]

Gov. signs measure aimed at reducing Lake Erie phosphorus

By: - June 20, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive directive Thursday that outlines how Michigan agencies will work to meet their goal of reducing phosphorus levels in Lake Erie by 40% within the next six years. Michigan, Ohio, and the Canadian province of Ontario have set that target in order to cut back on toxic algae blooms, like […]

Climate change study: Detroit heat wave deaths could outpace some southern cities

By: - June 20, 2019

Updated, 4:39 p.m. Detroit is on track to suffer more extreme heat-related deaths than some southern cities such as Houston, Atlanta and Phoenix due to climate change, according to a new study published in Science Advances Today. The Union of Concerned Scientists called the report the “first-of-its-kind,” led by the University of Bristol researcher Eunice […]

U.S. Senate panel OKs deadline for setting toxic chemical drinking water limit

By: - June 19, 2019

A U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday approved a measure that would compel the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set an expedited drinking water limit for a suite of toxic chemicals. The U.S. Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works unanimously approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would force the EPA […]

Michigan Supreme Court order sends juvenile prison rape suit to trial

By: - June 18, 2019

A class-action lawsuit against the state alleging that teenage prisoners’ civil rights were violated will proceed, after the state’s highest court declined to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that granted prisoners protection from discrimination. The class-action lawsuit alleges the prison staff’s indifference — and sometimes participation — in the rape or sexual […]

Gov.’s office announces $5M in opioid crisis grant funding

By: - June 18, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office on Monday announced $5 million in grant money meant to help stem the opioid addiction crisis in Michigan. The money will go toward planning, training and treatment for addiction, according to Whitmer’s office, which said the number of deaths related to opioid overdoses has more than tripled since 2011. “If we’re […]

Enbridge taking steps on oil pipeline tunnel, Whitmer says state hasn’t signed off

By: - June 17, 2019

Any progress Canadian energy company Enbridge makes on a controversial $500 million oil tunnel has not been authorized by the state and comes “at the company’s own risk,” warned Zack Pohl, spokesman for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. That response came hours after Enbridge Energy announced Monday that it is moving forward with its planned summer rock […]

Michigan, Ohio, Ontario to cut Lake Erie phosphorus to stave off algae blooms

By: - June 17, 2019

Michigan, Ohio and Ontario, Canada, have agreed to slash the amount of phosphorous flowing into the Western Lake Erie Basin 40% by 2025, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office announced Friday. The target is meant to cut back on toxic algae blooms like the one that prompted a two-day tap water shutoff in 2014 for 400,000 people […]

Whitmer signs women in sports executive order

By: - June 17, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Monday creating a task force aimed at promoting women in sports. The Task Force on Women in Sports will be the first in the nation, according to Whitmer’s office. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, the former CEO of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), will lead […]


Flint, unemployment insurance, Headlee lawsuits cast shadow over state budget

By: - June 16, 2019

The state is keeping an eye on multiple pending lawsuits, including a potential settlement for Flint residents, that could leave a huge hole in Michigan’s finances. Whether the settlements come this year or next, some experts say the lawsuits are a risk for the state budget, at a time when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and GOP […]

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Community benefits program announced for Gordie Howe Bridge

By: - June 14, 2019

The Gordie Howe International Bridge will include a substantial community benefits program, according to a Friday announcement by the public and private team responsible for its construction. The benefit plan financed by Canada includes job training and apprenticeships, employment opportunities and a roughly $15 million investment in landscaping, community partnerships, safety and economic benefits, according […]